All posts filed under: Odds & Ends

Bourbon Pecan Pie//Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles Blog

Top Recipes in 2013

What a year 2013 was!  Below is a list of the top recipes on the blog last year.  It’s fun to look back and see what resonated with readers…and make me crave warmer temperatures seeing summer photos! I’ve got a lot planned for the blog this year and want to say again how grateful I am for each and every one of you.  Here’s to 2014! 10. Fall Sangria with Apple Brandy 9. The Man Burger 8. Grilled Steaks with Bourbon Peppercorn Sauce 7. Fat Elvis & Priscilla Beehive Pancakes 6. Mexican Skirt Steak Tacos with Lime Crema & Queso Fresco 5. Cider Smoked Brined Turkey 4. Easy Peasy Rustic Bread 3. Homemade Marinara Sauce 2. Bourbon Pecan Pie 1. Mimosa Sorbet

elson's Greenbrier Distillery

Road Trippin’ Southern Style

This weekend I’m taking a really cool road trip. In general, all road trips are pretty cool but this one is going to be something special. I’ve blogged before about getting addicted to and uncovering all sorts of amazing pieces of information. In the last 6 months I’ve discovered: Charles Nelson, my great great great grandfather was a distiller from Nashville, Tennessee and at one point was outproducing Jack Daniels 17:1. My great grandfather is a descendent of Queen Catherine Parr of England.  She was the last wife of Henry VIII and outlived him. My great grand uncle was a brilliant chemist who worked under Wernher von Braun, father of the modern space program. My other great grand uncle was a Japanese POW during WWII and thankfully, returned home safely after four years in Japan. My maternal grandmother was born in the same hospital Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was pronounced dead in 30 years later. It’s been a really exciting journey for my family and I so we figured why not take it …


Roots: Where Food Comes From and Where It Takes Us

I’ve got some exciting news today…my writing has been published in an anthology! How did it happen?  I submitted a post to BlogHer (a blogging and social media network for women) for their latest collection of stories centered around food, traditions, and memories.  I’m super proud to say the e-book, “Roots: Where Food Comes From and Where It Takes Us”  is available today! According to the press release, “Roots is an exploration of food’s rich interconnection with culture, memory and discovery, and includes writings from 36 different personalities and cookbook authors from the culinary blogosphere, selected from hundreds of submissions. The anthology’s deeply personal essays serve up family history, local lore and tantalizing stories of worlds newly discovered through food, accompanied by original photography…” Oftentimes my favorite parts of cookbooks are the authors little anecdotes before a recipe.  I love a good food story or discovering the history behind a dish.  This anthology is chock full of them and I can’t wait to read the other essays. It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for …



Change is fun and change is good.  After 100 posts, I decided it was time to dig out a pretty new dress and some bright red lipstick and give this blog a makeover. There is a lot to celebrate today!  In addition to 100 posts and giving away of set of cookbooks, my husband has completely re-designed and upgraded this site! A big thanks to my man for spending the majority of his holiday weekend staring at code and recipes. So take a look around, stay awhile, and I hope you enjoy our new look! With this upgrade, please let me know if you encounter an issues or errors anywhere on the site–we want everything looking shiny and pretty for you!  

Friday Things, First Edition

A lot of the blogs I love and follow have a fun tradition of posting collections of random things they love/dislike/desire/crave/etc. once a week. I’m really surprised that I’m just getting on this bandwagon now. The way I see it, these are all things I’d call/email my family and friends over or even pin on Pinterest so why not share the love here to?  I wouldn’t necessarily write a separate post for each, but when combined together…you get a good helping of Friday Things! Without further adieu… Wow of the Week: Better Way to Fill/Clean Pastry Bags Where has this been all my life?!?  I saw this tip on Pinterest this week and my jaw is still on the floor.  Do you ever look at yourself and think, “Duh…why didn’t I think of that?!?”  I can finally dust off my pastry bags and tips.  They’d been banished to the far corner of the bottom cabinet never to be used again since they are such a pain to clean.  My life is forever changed.  I wanted to frost/decorate …


Winter Farmers Markets, Who Knew?!?

Saturday mornings used to be pretty typical. Wake up.  Hit snooze. Wake up again.  Look at these furry mugs and decide to get up.  Yes, this photo was literally what I woke up to one morning.  For reals. Let the dogs out.  Eat breakfast. Think about cleaning and/or laundry.  Make some tea.  Watch a cooking show.  Think about cleaning and laundry again…repeat x10 until you realize it’s noon and you still haven’t showered… No more!  After years of hemming and hawing, I finally checked out the local winter farmer’s market here in Milwaukee.  What’s even more pathetic to admit is that this market is a whopping 2.5 miles from my house…and it took me over 2 years to finally check it out. Until I heard about the market, I naively never knew such a thing existed.  I figured the end of summer signaled the end of farmer’s markets…not the start of another wave of fresh and local goodies!  If you’re local to southeastern Wisconsin and interested in checking it out, click here for their website. …

What’s a CSA?

One of the perks of meeting new foodies and bloggers is getting exposed to all sorts of things you’ve never stumbled upon yourself.  My blogger friend Karis, over at Karis’ Kitchen, opened my eyes up to CSAs, which stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  When you purchase a CSA share, you receive lots of fresh, local produce, usually on a weekly schedule. I’ve heard about the volume you get on a regular basis from CSAs so I sought out a way to start small and get my feet wet. That brought me to Growing Power here in Milwaukee.  This wonderful organization is only located about 6-7 minutes from where I work. While most CSAs have you pay up front for the whole season, Growing Power allows you to purchase week to week while also using smaller, local wholesalers to get produce not available locally at a better rate.  I picked up my second bag last week and here’s the haul: pears, apples, oranges, kohlrabi, and collard greens.   Not pictured: 2 bananas, butternut squash, cabbage, and jalapenos All of this for …

Methods to Save Me from the Ice Cream Madness

You might be surprised to learn that for as much as I love ice cream (click here if you didn’t know I loved ice cream), I really had never made it before.  Crazy I know. In fact, my first taste of true, homemade ice cream was when I met my future mother-in-law for the first time.  She made it for a summer party at our house and changed my world. Since I was a newbie, I began researching recipes and methods to find the best and easiest (remember I’m embarking on 30 recipes, people) ones out there. My favorite recipe and method is from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams for several reasons: Absence of eggs–don’t get me wrong I love eggs but I was going to have to obtain my own coop to supply 30 days worth of ice cream recipes No need to chill for hours in the refrigerator; instead you flash chill in a plastic bag in an ice bath It’s downright tasty For the next 30 days most of the recipes are an adaptation …

In the Mood for a Marathon

Let me preface this post by saying I usually don’t run unless something scary is chasing me. Things that DON’T qualify as “scary”: -My husband when he thinks it would be funny to see me run -Family or friends who think it would be funny to see me run -My husband in an Iron Man mask at Target -My husband in an Iron Man mask with a foam sword at Target -Clowns Are you getting that I’m not going to be discussing a “running” marathon? Ever since I started Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles, I’ve had the crazy notion that I should go on a sprint and blog everyday for a month.  I’ve learned that this is often referred to as a “blogging marathon” in the blogosphere. So what to blog about for 30 days?  How about my favorite food of all time… ICE CREAM! I love it.  A lot. Here’s how much I love it.  For several months out of the year I live in sub zero temperatures.  It’s called Wisconsin.  Before that I lived …